Prevention-Smart Child Confidence


It is vital to make your child feel safe at home, at school, and in the neighborhood. Not having to worry about crime or criminal behavior in the neighborhood, school, or at home helps youth feel secure about his or her life and future. Even if you cannot completely eliminate unsafe conditions, support your community’s efforts to curb crime. Push your school to maximize school safety.

Educate your child about the dangers of misuse of medicines and irresponsible alcohol and other drug use.

High expectations

Encourage your child to work and try hard in school, extra-school activities, and hobbies. Support these efforts as much as you can.

Also reward behaviors that promote motivation, such as waking up on time for school; keeping his or her room or space organized; caring about personal hygiene; seeking approval and validation for work on school projects.

Rewards can be praise or take other forms and not always mean money!


Reinforce the importance that your child act in ways and make decisions in life that promotes a positive self-esteem (feeling good about oneself).

Discuss specific ways of doing this, such as speaking loud enough to be heard and being assertive (not aggressive!), having good posture, making eye-contact when talking to adults and others, and interacting with people of all ages.

Also, encourage your child to strive to achieve and reward him or her for putting in the effort and avoid being concerned with the outcome.

Resistance skills

Part of being a good parent is to teach your child a core asset skill: how to resist negative peer pressure and dangerous situations.

Talk to him or her about the importance of recognizing and resisting negative peer pressure and potentially dangerous situations. Remind your child that it is okay to say to friends “this is not for me” and to walk away from unhealthy and dangerous situations.

Sense of purpose

Encourage youth to think about and express interest in their future life. This can help them recognize that "my life has a purpose." Having a purpose in life is a powerful feeling for all people.

When youth talk about the future in positive ways, such as telling you about specific goals or pathways to achieving goals, they are showing that they believe in themselves and their plans for a happy and successful life.

Planning and decision making

Help your child develop skills for how to plan ahead, set personal goals, to make healthy choices, and to organize his or her daily life. Tell your child about your own goals and how you plan to achieve them.

If needed, help your child get in the habit of using these skills by writing down goals, plans and choices.

Positive view of personal future

Encourage your child to think of his or her future in positive ways. Have him or her tell you what excites him or her about the future.

Do not worry if plans change often; encourage the pursuit of working towards future achievements.

Prevention-Smart launched for initial evaluation on June 26th 2009. If you have any comments or feedback, please email us via the contact form.